Imo State government has unveiled plans to donate 100 hectares of land to the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) for the development of integrated farm estate in the state.
This is just as the agency disclosed plans to reactivate a 35-hectare integrated farm estate located at Acharaugo Emekuku in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State that has been abandoned over the last 30 years.
The Executive Secretary of NALDA, Paul Ikonne after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Imo State government on the development of the farm estate, told newsmen that although the estate was located on a 35-hectare farmland, the governor had assured to increase the land to 100 hectares.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the agency to reactivate abandoned farm estate and create new ones to generate employment and achieve food security for the country as well as attract youths into the agriculture sector so that they can see farming as a way of life and means of livelihood.
To this extent, Ikonne said no fewer than 800 direct beneficiaries had been targeted to benefit from the integrated farm in Imo State as well as the Fish Village in Abia State.
According to him, President Buhari’s directive to develop villages and communities can only be achieved if the states donate land.
He assured that any land made available to the agency would be turned to meaningful use for the benefit of the community to reduce youth restiveness, unemployment and to achieve food security.
HOWEVER, there has been concerns in some quarters that NALDA was fronting for the Federal Government to acquire land for RUGA or cattle grazing under the pretense of integrated farming.
“It is a RUGA project coming from the back door,” a journalist from the south-east geo-political zone, who craved anonymity, said.
Source: The Guardian